Eish, even paradise isn't perfect. Yesterday saw the culmination of mounting pressure on the President of the Maldives amidst increasing violence in the capital, Male. President Nasheed resigned yesterday in a bid to avoid the escalating violence - not wanting the country to erupt into civil war.
Nasheed, a former political prisoner, became the countries first democratically elected leader back in 2008 after 30 years of dictatorship. Everyone had hoped this would herald a new era for the island paradise - and for a brief while it did. Nasheed was best known for his activism around climate change and highlighting the perils faced by his country due to rising sea levels.
However, opposition party hardliners didn't take kindly to his westernised outlook and economic reforms, and have have been attempting to disrupt his government since he took office. Things came to a head a month ago, when the government jailed a judge, who was a member of the opposition party. They alleged that some of his ruling were politically motivated.
After growing civil unrest, and clashed between factions within the defence forces and police, Nasheed decided it was best to step down in order to avoid further violence. The Vice President, Mohammed Hassan was sworn in as the new President.
With elections next year it could be interesting times for the Maldives as the opposition party is now in a much stronger position to contest given the latest drama. This could see a return of the same party that was responsible for the dictatorship rule of the country prior to Nasheed's election. Pretty darn ironic to vote to return to dictatorship!!
But could democracy be an essentially western concept - and if so maybe we shouldn't just assume that all countries will thrive in it. Can't say much of Africa has done a great job of democratic leadership when given the chance! Democratically elected officials have an amazing propensity to evole into dicatotors once in power.....
Anyhow, does that mean you have to cancel your trip to the Maldives? Nup, all good...provided you just don't head into the capital for the next lil while til things calm down.
Going forward though, might be interesting to see how things change in the country if the opposition party does get back into power, as they are Islamic hardliners - and have already tried to shut down the country's resort spa's - claiming they are fronts for prostitution! There is still a ban on alcohol in the islands, although resorts and charter boats get special licenses allowing them to sell it. Which explains why your Amstel rocks you back R80 over there!
Hoping things settled down soon, as Millerslocal is still making plans to try become a Maldives local!